Good Samaritan pays for a full year’s rent for homeless family

Hometown Heroes

GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) — Two women who were scammed out of nearly $2,000 trying to rent a home now have a place to rest their heads thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

 “We have a guardian angel and I didn’t really believe in them, but I do now,” Karen Garrison told NewsNation affiliate WJZY.

Karen and her partner Shirley live in a one bedroom apartment in Rock Hill. It’s modest, but it’s perfect for them, and it’s a lot bigger than the car we found them in a month ago.

After spending a year homeless on the street in a tent, the couple saved up enough cash to buy a car and rent a house.

They found a posting for one on South Dalton Street in Gastonia, and reached out to who they thought was the owner.

“We were so anxious and so happy, we couldn’t believe we actually got the keys and we were like, ‘yeah, let’s just do it before someone else gets it.’”

The women sent someone named Devin almost $2,000 through CashApp, signed the lease and moved in. They decorated the house and took pictures, but three days later, when they called the number on the listing for a maintenance request, they got bad news.

“They guaranteed it was not them and sent us an email that we needed to vacate the premises immediately or the sheriff would be called,” Karen said.

That’s when WJZY stepped in and helped share their story.

I’m thankful for you. You could have decided not to pick up the story, you could have decided not to answer your phone,” Karen said. “I was so livid about the situation, I was like, ‘I’m calling the news!’ and she was like, ‘No, I don’t think you should do that,’ and I was like, ‘I’m calling her.’”

After WJZY aired the women’s story, a man who would like to remain anonymous called and offered to get them in a home, and pay their rent for a year.

I’ve never known someone like him who wants to do so much and give so much and not get the recognition for it,” Karen said.

The man they call their guardian angel also helped to furnish their new home.

Mr. Guardian angel, no words can ever express what you’ve done for me and mine, and I’m just so appreciative of everything. I hope that one day I will be in the position to help someone as you’ve helped us.”

Their new home is a dream come true, one they still can’t believe has happened.

I’m just waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up! Like all this just overnight!”

Karen and Shirley are home for the holidays.

Come on over! The door is open. It’s nice to be able to do that again.”

And the fact that their kids can now come visit means the world.

They also say they learned a valuable lesson about home rental scams.

It was a life lesson. It was an expensive one, but we were just so eager to get out of what we was in that we just went for the first thing,” Shirley said.

Their faith in God was tested, but is now much stronger, along with their faith in humanity.

I’m glad it happened because it renewed my sense and my faith that there are still good people in the world. That for every bad person, there are five good people.”

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